Common Honda Ridegeline Tailgate Problems

The Honda Ridgeline is a great truck. Yet, many Ridgeline owners have encountered issues with their tailgates. If you’re a Ridgeline owner who has a malfunctioning tailgate, this guide may help you. We’ll go over the 5 most common Ridgeline tailgate problems.

1. Incorrectly Sized Sensor Rod

Tailgate sensor rod

Image Credit: Robin Horton

If you look between the left tailgate upper latch and the synchronizer, you’ll find a sensor rod. If that rod is too long, it prevents the tailgate from opening in swing mode. If you’re having trouble opening your tailgate in swing mode, you may want to replace the left upper sensor rod. This is a common issue in 2006-2010 and 2017 Ridgeline trucks.

The good news is correctly sized left upper sensor rods are cheap. They cost only a few bucks. You can get a genuine OEM one from us here. Make sure that one fits your particular Ridgeline truck. To find out, scroll down to the Vehicle Fitment section at the bottom of the page.

Replacing the left upper sensor rod on your truck is pretty easy. All you need to do is remove the tailgate top trim, find the rod, and then replace it.

2. Bad Electric Lock Wiring

Do you have trouble locking or unlocking your tailgate? If so, the electric tailgate lock wiring may be bad. Open up the tailgate and check the following parts:

  • Connections for any looseness or damage
  • Wiring for any damage (e.g. abrasion)
  • Switch for any looseness or damage

If you find a damaged component, replacing it should do the trick. We carry a variety of OEM Ridgeline tailgate components at wholesale pricing.

3. Misaligned Striker


Image Credit: RidgelineOwnersClub

Your tailgate comes with two strikers - on each side of the truck bed frame. A tailgate striker is a thick bolt that keeps your tailgate locked in place. A striker that’s not aligned with the latch will make it hard to open or close the tailgate. It may also make the tailgate loose. If you suspect that you have a misaligned striker on your Ridgeline, check the strikers and latches. You can either adjust the misaligned striker or replace it.

4. Bent Or Misaligned Latch Rods

If your Honda Ridgeline tailgate will not open, you may want to check the latch rods. These are rods that actuate the latch that allows the tailgate to open. If they’re bent or not adjusted well, you’ll have a hard time opening your tailgate.

Some tailgates come with a panel that covers the latch opening. Take the panel off and you'll see the latch mechanism and rods. Inspect the rods to see if they’re bent or not adjusted well. If the rods are bent or not adjusted right, you’ll need to figure out how to adjust or straighten them. You can also replace them if it’s easier for you.

5. Leaking Hydraulic Dampers

Some Ridgeline tailgates have hydraulic dampers. Dampers are similar to supports, but they work in the opposite manner. Instead of helping something to open, they slow down an opening motion. Dampers can start leaking over time. When that happens, the tailgate may slam down. The only way to fix this issue is to replace the hydraulic dampers.

What if you have the opposite problem? What if you have trouble opening the tailgate? It’s possible that the hydraulic dampers have too much gas pressure. When that happens, there’s a vacuum inside the support. The pressure is attempting to keep the tailgate closed as you try to open it. In this case, replacing the hydraulic damper will fix the problem.